The United States is among the countries with the most complex legal landscape when it comes to sports betting. That is because there is no federal law that standardizes sports betting. After the federal ban on sports betting was removed in 2018, the different states were given the green light to decide if and how to regulate the sports betting industry.
As you know, the United States consists of 50 states, each of which has the right to regulate the sports betting market as they deem fit. However, many states have legalized sports betting due to the social and economic benefits it provides. Some US states allow only in-person betting, while others offer online betting, too. There are states which prohibit betting on specific sporting events. At the moment of writing, 36 states offer some form of sports betting.
Best US Sports Betting Sites
Although online sports betting is legal in some states, there are not many locally regulated bookies. If you reside in a state where online sports betting is not allowed, you will have to join one of the many offshore sports betting platforms that are usually licensed in Curacao, Panama, Costa Rica, and others. But when selecting an offshore sportsbook, you should know that not all of them are safe. That is why our professional team from Bonusinsider has compiled a list of the best US-friendly sportsbooks.
Best US Sports Betting Bonuses
US casino fans can pick from a plethora of betting sites licensed in foreign countries, with each of them offering various promotions to lure in newcomers and retain existing bettors. But punters should keep in mind that online sportsbooks do not just give bonuses for nothing. You must comply with the bonus terms in order to cash out your winnings. In the lines below, we will discuss the most common types of sports betting bonuses that US sports fans can benefit from.
New registrants are often treated to Welcome Bonuses that will match their first deposit by a given percentage up to a certain amount. Punters must satisfy a wagering requirement and comply with the odds restrictions to cash out their profits. Besides, some betting sites allow players to place specific types of bets when playing with an active bonus. Another thing to mention is that bets on some sports may not count toward the rollover requirement. Sports fans are usually required to satisfy the wagering requirements within a specific timeframe.
Some betting sites offer Welcome Bonuses that players can gradually unlock by placing real-money bets on qualifying events. For example, for every $20 you wager, you will release $1 from the bonus. That is why it is really important to read the bonus terms and conditions and adhere to them.
Many bookies offer a free bet bonus to new registrants who verify their accounts. Punters can claim an amount ranging from $5 to $25 and use it to place a wager without risking their funds. Typically, bettors are not allowed to use the free bet to place multiple wagers. In the event the bet settles as a win, you can collect your profits, but the amount of the free bet will be deducted.
Risk-free bets require bettors to wager real money. But if the bet loses, the bookie will refund the original amount of the stake in the form of free credits, which can be used on selected or all events. So, the main difference between free bets and risk-free bets is that the former gives bettors a bonus for free, and the latter provides players with the opportunity to get a full refund if their bet loses.
Many online sportsbooks provide their existing patrons with the opportunity to benefit from a cashback bonus. The cashback bonus enables sports fans to receive a percentage back of the losses they incur over a given period. Note that the cashback amount is now always wager-free.
To win an accumulator bet, all selections must win. However, if one of the selections loses, you lose your stake. But bettors who take the acca insurance will have their stake returned in the form of free bets, bonuses, or even cash if all but one selection wins. Note that there are usually requirements regarding the number of selections your acca bet must include and the minimum odds.
Betting Regulation in the US
The legal status of sports betting in the US is quite complicated mainly due to the fact that each state can decide whether and how to regulate the industry. So gambling laws vary from one state to another. What adds to the complexity of the legal landscape is that some states allow only specific forms of sports betting. As a result, many operators decided not to accept punters from the United States.
However, many online sportsbooks licensed in foreign countries cater to the needs of bettors residing in the USA. Such sports betting platforms are not required to abide by the US sports betting law simply because they are not licensed in this jurisdiction. As mentioned earlier, many states have already legalized online sports betting, meaning operators can apply for licenses and provide their services without violating the law. A crucial thing to note is that locally regulated sportsbooks are allowed to target only punters from the state in which they are licensed.
Several pieces of legislation affected the development of the US sports betting industry. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the Interstate Wire Act into law, criminalizing the operation of betting businesses. But the law did not expressively prohibit sports fans from placing wagers on various sporting events.
In 1992, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was signed into law to restrict all but a handful of states from regulating sports betting. The states which were allowed to offer sports betting activities after PASPA include Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon.
Under PASPA, sports fans from Delaware were allowed to place three-plus team NFL parlays only. The only legal forms of sports betting in Montana were sports pools and fantasy sports leagues, while Oregonians were allowed to place parlay bets. However, Oregon banned parlay betting in 2007, so it could host the NCAA Championship.
In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was signed into law, prohibiting gambling businesses from “knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.” However, the law did not ban fantasy sports, skill games, legal intrastate, and intertribal gaming. The passage of UIGEA triggered an unprecedented exodus of operators.
However, it could not stop offshore operators from accepting players from the United States. But since banks and financial institutions were not allowed to facilitate gambling-related transactions, offshore sportsbooks aimed at US players added cryptocurrencies to their banking pages, effectively bypassing the law.
In 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned PASPA, paving the way for individual states to regulate sports betting. The decision came after New Jersey challenged the law, claiming that it violates the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution.
In Which US States Online Sports Betting is Legal?
After PASPA was overturned, many states quickly implemented laws regulating the industry. As mentioned earlier, some states allow only in-person sports betting, while others have legalized also online sports betting. As of January 2023, 26 US states offer online sports betting, including:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
- Washington D.C.
- Rhode Island
Nevada was the first US state to legalize sports betting. Sports betting has been legal in Nevada since 1949. The authority that regulates the gambling industry throughout the state is the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Sports fans from Nevada can legally place various types of bets on different sporting events.
Only one month after PASPA was overturned, Delaware regulated sports betting and introduced single-game betting options at three casinos in the state. New Jersey regulated sports betting operations in 2018 after Governor Phil Murphy signed New Jersey’s sports betting bill into law. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is the authority that regulates the gambling industry in the state.
Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings generated from sports betting?
Winnings generated from sports betting are taxable in the United States. Profits exceeding $600 must be reported to the IRS, and a federal tax of 24% will be withheld. US punters can also report losses on condition they itemize deductions on their federal tax return. Licensed sportsbooks usually send a Form W-2G to punters and a copy to the IRS automatically. Bettors who do not report their winnings generated from gambling and sports betting activities may face a hefty fine.
What payment methods can I use to fund my betting account?
UIGEA prohibits banks and financial institutions from processing gambling-related financial transactions. Therefore, the payment methods available to US punters are thin on the ground. Some legitimate US-friendly sportsbooks support payments via bank cards, which does not mean that the transaction will be successful. However, US bettors can use prepaid vouchers and cryptocurrencies to fund their accounts. As far as withdrawals are concerned, US sports fans can pick from various cryptocurrencies and eChecks.
Are there any fees on deposits and withdrawals?
Whether you will be charged a fee when depositing and withdrawing funds depends on the online sportsbook you choose for your betting session. Some US-friendly online sportsbooks impose fees on withdrawals, while deposits are processed at no extra costs. It is important to mention that some online sportsbooks allow punters to withdraw a limited number of times. Do not forget to check the minimum and maximum withdrawal limits.
What are the most popular sports to wager on in the United States?
Sports betting is rapidly growing in the United States since PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court. Americans are passionate about sports, which explains why the sports betting industry is gaining momentum at a rapid pace. Undoubtedly, the most popular betting market among US punters is the National Football League. Another market that enjoys a great deal of attention is the National Basketball Association. US punters are also fond of the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.
Is it safe to use an offshore betting site?
Yes and no – it depends on the online sportsbook you opt for. Many reputable offshore sports betting sites accept bettors from the United States. However, if you reside in a state where sports betting is not regulated, you can pick from hundreds of offshore sportsbooks that accept punters from the USA. Several things indicate that a given betting platform is reliable, including competitive odds, reliable payment methods, licenses, customer support, and others.